World Dressage Championships: Stella Hagelstam grand prix

  • Mount St John Kom Fairy Tale lit up the stage as she made her championship debut with Finnish rider Stella Hagelstam at the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Championships.

    Stella has only had the ride on the 16-year-old mare, owned by Emma Blundell, for two and a half months after taking over the reins from Brit Amy Woodhead, who is expecting her first child. The mare was also formerly competed by Charlotte Dujardin.

    Stella and the Finnish-bred Mount St John Kom Fair Tale, known as Princess, scored 69.74% and sat in 16th place following the first day of the World Dressage Championships grand prix.

    “It’s a very fresh partnership. I really love the horse,” said Stella.

    “I have of course known all the time there is so much quality in her, but so far she has been quite tense inside the ring in most of her tests so I kept my hopes quite realistic. Then when I realized in the beginning that she was totally breathing I thought ‘Yay, now I can go!’ and I could really start riding a little more. She was fantastic and I’m so happy.”

    Stella explained the opportunity to take on the ride arrived when her own grand prix horse New Hill Julitrea was sidelined owing to injury.

    “I know Emma Blundell really well and when my grand prix horse was injured last winter it looked like she probably wouldn’t be back in shape for this season,” she said.

    “I spoke to Emma about some embryo transfer possibilities, and she said ‘Would you like to have Princess because Amy won’t be able to compete this summer’. I was like ‘Yes!'”

    It could be said a special coincidence brought Stella and the mare together.

    “Five years ago I bought an embryo transfer foal from her so I have a five-year-old son from Mount St John Kom Fairy Tale at home, which is so funny because I never knew the mother herself would also be at my stable one day. It’s a lovely coincidence,” said Stella.

    “They are quite similar; she’s a hot horse but he is a little bit more relaxed. He’s a bit bitter, and has a lot of her qualities so I am expecting a lot from him in the future.”

    At the moment the plan is Princess will go back to Emma after this season – and Amy is not the only rider waiting to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet.

    “I am four and a half months pregnant.” revealed a delighted Stella.

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